Pharmaceutical Compounding

Q: Which ONE of the following statements concerning single-pan electronic balances as replacements for the Class III balance is true?

(a) :  They cannot be used since they are too accurate for routine weighings.
(b) :  They are not suitable since the official shift and rider balance tests cannot be performed
(c) :  They may be used if they have a sensi- tivity requirement of 6 mg or better.
(d) :  They are not recommended since their total weight capacity is often less than 120 g.
(e) :  They may be used if their total weight capacity is not greater than 120 g.
Answer:  They may be used if they have a sensi- tivity requirement of 6 mg or better.
Explanation:  While free-swinging pan balances based upon the torsion principle are traditional in pharmacy, the more sophisticated electronic balances are suitable provided that they meet USP/NF standards of a sensitivity requirement of 6 mg or less (better). While the usual largest quantity to be weighed on the torsion balance without causing damage was 120 g,this is not an absolute quantity. The most important value for compounding is the allowable error, which should be not more than ± 5%.

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